This is a first for the two years I’ve been doing the college football 77 in 77- having to move a team WAY DOWN the rankings before the season has even started. And putting the Penn State Nittany Lions this high, is still way too high. But there’s nothing else I can do given the extreme unprecedented circumstances.
With sanctions imposed by the NCAA, as well as those imposed by the Big Ten, Penn State will be a shell of what they could have been. With a four year bowl ban, nothing to play for, all that money that was fined, 14 years of wins vacated, the air was taken out of the Penn State sails today. The 2012 season in State College will be Unhappy Valley. There’s no coming back from this, at least not for awhile.
You’ve heard of “keeping it on the field,” focusing on not the “off the field stuff.” Well, that’s impossible now; there is no separation. The off-the-field has now determined the on-the-field.
2011 was: see above, a notorious season in school history. You heard what happened to them, it’s gotten a lot of media coverage. Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, Tim Curley, Graham Spanier. Gary Schultz. 2011 at Penn State was probably the most drama of any college football team in the history of the sport.
2012 will go smoothly if: it won’t. But the best hope is that running back Silas Redd, who’s really good, gets a ton of carries. Matt McGloin settles in at QB and doesn’t make as many mistakes. The defense, last year’s overwhelming strength of the team returns only four starters, and none in the secondary, and the offense is learning a new system under Bill O’Brien
2012 will be rough if: it will be rough, period. And it’s going to be down for awhile. What will make a big difference better or worse is how many players transfer out. That’s impossible to predict right now, but it’s key. If more crucial players bail out they’ll get worse, and recruiting is going to suffer for at least four years as they’ll be ineligible from the postseason for that amount of time.
BMOC: Redd, WR Justin Brown, DT Jordan Hill, OLB Michael Mauti, ILB Glenn Carson
All-name team: FS Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, TE Jesse James
Bottom Line: Year one of pain, as this program will be really down for four years, probably down for about 8 years or more. The scholarship cuts may not take effect this year, but it will in the near future. They might even have a winning record this season, but I doubt it. The only winners out of this are the Illini, Badgers, Hoosiers and Boilermakers, now they are the only four teams eligible in the division to play for the league title this year.
Rankings All irrelevant now; with the bowl ban in place
All the 77s
#67 Southern Miss
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too